Jeff Stoughton, Jon Mead, Reid Carruthers and Mark Nichols celebrate after winning the 2013 National. (Anil Mungal)

Stoughton routs McEwen to win 2013 National

January 27, 2013, 2:53 PM

PORT HAWKESBURY, N.S. — Jeff Stoughton defeated Mike McEwen 8-2 in six ends to win the National Grand Slam of Curling championship Sunday afternoon.

McEwen flashed the takeout on his final shot in the fifth as Stoughton held the hammer and eased his last rock in to pick up four points and break a 2-2 tie game.

With four yellow rocks in play, a desperate McEwen needed to clear house in the sixth but couldn’t pull off the shot and Stoughton stole two. The two rinks shook hands to end the match.

Stoughton earned his first National title to become only the fourth skip ever to complete a career Grand Slam joining Kevin Martin, Wayne Middaugh and Glenn Howard in the exclusive club. He won the Players’ Championship in 2003, the Masters in 2004 and the Canadian Open in 2006.

“Our guys pulled it out today. After losing the first two games of the tournament we were able to run the table to win it all,” Stoughton said. “It’s fantastic, to be out here and beat the best in the world. It’s a good feeling.”

McEwen opened the scoring with a single in the first end and Stoughton blanked the second to retain the hammer.

Stoughton squeezed his final shot of the third into the house and knocked McEwen’s rock out to pick up a deuce.

McEwen was looking for two in the fourth but had to settle for one.

The two Winnipeg rinks clashed with a championship on the line before. Stoughton came out on top in the 2010 and the 2011 Manitoba provincial finals while McEwen was victorious in the Masters final in November 2010 to earn his first career Grand Slam title.

McEwen thumped Stoughton 9-2 in the round robin but since that loss, Stoughton’s rink went on to win five in a row to set up the rematch.

Team McEwen’s lone loss in the round robin came against Jeff Cotter’s Kelowna/Vernon, B.C., rink. McEwen routed Sweden’s Niklas Edin 7-1 in the quarterfinals and edged Edmonton’s Kevin Martin 5-4 in the semis to reach the final.

The final stop on the 2012-13 Grand Slam of Curling is the Players’ Championship, April 16-21, at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto.